HYDE PARK (CBSLA.com) – Actor Michael Jace, who played a police officer in FX’s “The Shield,” was arrested early Tuesday morning in the fatal shooting of his wife.
Police responded to several shots fired calls, including one reportedly made by Jace himself admitting to pulling the trigger, around 8:30 p.m. Monday in the 5400 block of Brynhurst Avenue in Hyde Park.
When officers arrived, they found 40-year-old April Jace, the actor’s wife of 10 years, shot multiple times in the hallway of their home.
Jace, 51, was handcuffed and taken in for questioning. He was arrested around 3 a.m. and booked on a felony murder charge.
Authorities said they discovered a gun inside the home.
KNX 1070’s Margaret Carrero reports the couple’s two young sons were in the residence at the time of the shooting.
“When there’s children involved, it’s very sad. It’s unclear if they saw the shooting, but they heard the shooting,” LAPD Det. Sal LaBarbera said. “And now to be left with no mother and no father, it’s a very sad situation for all the kids involved.”
It was unclear what prompted the crime, but police said the wife and kids had just returned home from little league practice when the incident occurred.
The motive of the shooting is believed to be domestic violence. The couple’s financial problems were also being looked into as a possible cause.
KCAL9’s Jeff Nguyen reports that court records show Jace filed for bankruptcy in March 2011.
“We’ve looked and there’s no indication that police have been here, called to this home, on any prior domestic incidences or domestic violence,” LaBarbera said.
Neighbors were shocked by the killing.
“I’m absolutely…I am in shock,” said Shirley Harding, who was washing her car in her driveway Monday night when she heard gunshots. “My thoughts are that he came in right behind…immediately behind the shots. I saw him drive in that driveway.”
Residents added they never noticed any problems between the couple.
“Lovely couple is all I can say,” neighbor Sharon Prince said. “They just always showed affection towards themselves and among their children.”
“I never heard them fuss. I never heard them say a cuss word in the 10 years they’ve lived here,” Joan Lewis said.
April Jace worked as a counselor in the Financial Aid Office at Biola University.
“We are obviously shocked and saddened by this terrible news, to lose a wonderful colleague, mother and friend,” Biola President Barry H. Corey said. “The Biola family will stand with this precious family and the employees who are grieving today, and my prayer is that the God of all comfort will be our refuge and peace.”
The school said the office was closed for the rest of the day Tuesday.
“April’s radiant personality brought great energy to the Financial Aid Office,” Geoff Marsh, senior director of financial aid, said. “Her love for helping students and families and her great work ethic earned the respect and love of her co-workers. Her smiling face and helpful spirit will be missed by all.”
In addition to his role on “The Shield,” Jace appeared on TNT’s “Southland” and starred opposite Russell Crowe in the film “State of Play.”
Jace is being held on $1 million bail.
His children are in custody of the Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services.